Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Trump's Helsinki summit with Putin causes outrage in US

Read more

ENCORE!

On the red carpet with Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly and Paul Rudd

Read more

FOCUS

Spain's strawberry farms from hell

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

UK book exports could be harmed by Brexit

Read more

IN THE PRESS

'Ortega, enough!'

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Greece's new chapter: Athens prepares to exit bailout programme

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Tears and champagne as commercial flights resume between Ethiopia and Eritrea

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

UN warns of 'conspiracy of complacency' in fighting HIV

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Nicaragua: Another descent into dictatorship?

Read more

Culture

French-Moroccan writer Leïla Slimani wins Goncourt, France's top literary prize

© Joel Saget, AFP | French-Moroccan author Leila Slimani poses in Paris on September 13, 2016

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2016-11-04

Moroccan-born Leila Slimani won France's top literary prize, the Goncourt, on Thursday with a novel guaranteed to "scare the wits out of parents".

The chilling tale of a "perfect" nanny who murders the two children she is looking after, "Chanson douce" (roughly translated as "Sweet Song") is based on the real-life story of a Dominican child-minder shortly to stand trial for the double murder of her charges in New York in 2012.

The book – which begins with the words "the baby is dead" – is already a bestseller in France.

A mother herself, 35-year-old Slimani who caused a stir with her first book about a female nymphomaniac, said "the idea of paying someone to love your children for you" fascinated her.

"It leads to a very ambiguous relationship... We are always afraid they will steal our place in our children's hearts," she added.

The former journalist is only the seventh woman to have won the Goncourt in its 112-year history.

Mobbed by reporters outside the Paris restaurant where the prize was announced, she said: "It is hard to talk about literature in this craziness."

Later, she told AFP that "I slept well last night", despite being favourite, and dedicated the prize to her "parents, and in particular to my father who died 10 years ago".

Although Slimani gets only 10 euros ($11) in prize money, the Goncourt almost guarantees a boost in sales of 450,000 copies or more, placing it instantly among the year's top bestsellers.

The separate Renaudot prize, often seen as something of a consolation prize, went to "Babylone" by Yasmina Reza, best known for her hit play "Art".

It too is a kind of crime novel in which a dinner party dispute over free-range chicken has fatal consequences.

(AFP)

Date created : 2016-11-03

  • LITERATURE

    Nobel Prize for Bob Dylan divides world of literature from US to France

    Read more

  • UK

    US author becomes first ever to win Man Booker prize

    Read more

  • NOBEL PRIZE

    Bob Dylan says winning Nobel Prize left him ‘speechless’

    Read more

COMMENT(S)